Kiptopeke State Park

Virginia Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Start Exploring
Kiptopeke State Park


  • The entrance to the main swimming beach.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • People playing in the shallow waters of the bay.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • The beach at extreme low tide.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • One of many small rafts people use to float in the calm waters.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • Walking on the shallow waters along the shore.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • Enjoying a day on the beach with some shade.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • The water remains shallow for quite some length into the bay.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • Groups of people sunbathe near the jetty.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A wooden walkway crosses the dunes to the beach.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A woman walking along the beach with a walkway to the campground in the distance.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • The beach at low tide at Kiptopeke State Park.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A view of the other side of the beach.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A walkway leading to the campground.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A family pushing off from the boat launch.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • The jetty that separates the two sides of the beach.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A pier that runs the length of the boat ramp area.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • Using the free binoculars to view close-ups of the sunken ships.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A concrete ship, sunken and now used as a bird sanctuary.- Kiptopeke State Park
  • A sign with the park's name with sunken ships in the background.- Kiptopeke State Park
Overview + Weather
Not very crowded. Great for small children.
Virginia Chesapeake Bay, VA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Kiptopeke State Park is located on the Chesapeake Bay along Virginia's eastern shore, and it provides access to the bay, so it is perfect for swimming or sunbathing in the sand. In addition to the beach, there's also a boat launch, fishing area, 4.5 miles of hiking/biking trails, and the most unique part: half-sunken concrete ships just offshore.

The beaches of Kiptopeke are perfect for low-energy relaxation, as the waters are for the most part very shallow, especially during low tide. This makes it a great place to take small children. It's also perfect for just floating around, so if you have some sort of flotation raft, remember to bring it. You'll be glad you did.

The most unique things about the park are the concrete ships off of the coast. Concrete ships may sound strange today, but during World War II there was a steel shortage, so concrete was used instead. The boats were used to transport supplies between South America, the Caribbean, and America.

These McCloskey ships were partially submerged here in 1948 in hopes of creating a breakwater for a ferry across the bay. After the construction of the Bay Bridge, the ferry was no longer practical and was decommissioned, but the ships remain to this day. They have become a haven for birds and marine wildlife and can be reached via boat or kayak for closer inspection.

There is an area for launching boats and kayaks, as well as a large area of picnic tables. A nearby pier parallel to the coast is perfect for fishing or crabbing.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
1 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
Submission by
38 Adventures Explored
30 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info